It is a wonderful thing to enjoy deep friendships or the company of those we love. Sometimes though, we can become uncertain about our relationships. We think we see the other person pulling away. We consider something we’ve done in the past that makes it impossible for someone else to love us. Whatever the cause, we start seeking validation, needing reassurance from the other person to know everything is okay.

What if this is the worst thing you can do?

Sometimes our need for validation can do more harm than good. What you might not realize is just how unconscious a need for validation can be. Consider these questions:

* Have you been agreeing to outings or activities you have no interest in without speaking up about how you feel?

* Do you post about your relationship problems online, hoping to get ‘likes’ and comments that support your perspective?

* Are you spending a lot of time stressing about looking or acting ‘right’ for the other person because you’re fairly sure they wouldn’t like the real you?

* Do you hold back from offering opinions that are different from theirs to keep them from leaving you?

* Do you put up with bad behavior from the other person rather than risk ending the relationship?

* Do you give the other person a lot of compliments, hoping they’ll like you more?

* Do you share stories about your job or life that make you the hero and put down others?

* Do you bend over backward to keep the kids calm, the house perfect, and life running smoothly to give the appearance of having it all together?

* Do you never say ‘no’ when your significant other dumps their share of the household chores on you?

* Do you spend ages trying to look perfect before the two of you can go out?

While everyone can say yes to each of these at one point or another, the real question is, how often do these things come up? If you’re consistently doing these same things repeatedly, you’re very likely caught up in the habit of seeking the approval of others.

The problem is, it isn’t healthy to forever drown your own needs, remaking yourself again and again. It also shows a distinct lack of trust in the other person, which is what will sink your relationship faster than anything else.

Our partners need to be able to like us for who we are. That’s it. If they don’t, they only like a false version of you that doesn’t even exist. What’s even worse is how little you wind up liking yourself when you do these things, building poor self-esteem and, over time, resentment toward the other person.

This is why it’s so important to squelch behavior that seeks out validation in your relationships. You both deserve better.

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